Travel AND make money at the same time. Sounds pretty sweet doesn’t it? It’s a regular dream for a lot of people, which is why in this post I aim to illustrate 15 jobs that you can do that will allow you to make money while traveling. When it comes to different ways to make money traveling I think it’s important to define the difference between online or remote jobs that allow you to work from anywhere, effectively giving you the opportunity to make money while traveling, and jobs where you are actually getting paid to travel. I’m not saying one is better than the other, just that there is a difference between the two and it’s up to you to decide which style you prefer best. If you’re ready to discover all the best ways to earn money while on the road, read on!
- 1 Jobs where you travel for work
- 2 Online / remote jobs that allow you to work from anywhere (and make money while traveling!)
- 3 Other ways to make money while traveling
Jobs where you travel for work
Let’s start with jobs where you travel for work, so jobs where you’re employed by someone and as part of your job description you get to travel a lot, thus effectively making money by and while travelling.
One of the most obvious jobs you can do to make money while traveling is to be a tour leader. As a tour leader you are paid to take groups on trips around the world, effectively getting paid to travel. The set up is a bit different for every travel agency, with some asking you to specialise in a specific country or region, or asking for a minimum number of trips a year and so on. I’m quite lucky as I’m currently working as a tour leader for an Italian travel agency that focuses on millenial travel and that does trips all over the world with no minimum time commitment. Every so often I give them my availability for the coming months and preference of destinations I’d like to visit, and they then assign me specific tours.
In December I took a group to Jordan and I will be taking one to Thailand next week. The duties of this job are very varied and include everything from doing check-ins and check-outs, picking up receipts for the office, arranging transfers during the trip, booking excursions, deciding where to take the group for meals, helping the group socialise and overall ensuring everyone is having a great time. The pay isn’t great, varying between 200 – 400 EUR per trip on top of all expenses covered. It’s the kind of job you can do if you want to travel without having to pay for it and with other young people if you don’t like travelling alone. I also work as a travel blogger (more on this later), which is my main income, so the two things work well for me. When I travel as a tour leader I can create content for my blog, while still traveling for free and making money while traveling.
Last summer I spent four months in Italy working as a skipper on a sailing catamaran. We did day trips setting off from Palau to the National Park of La Maddalena, where we took people on beach hopping tours. In my case specifically I was based in one location and wasn’t travelling for this job, however being a skipper is a very versatile job that you can do in a lot of locations around the world. Once summer ended I stopped working as a skipper since I wanted to travel and work on my blog during winter, but I know a lot of my colleagues then went off to the Canary Islands, Caribbean or other beach destinations around the world and worked on boats. So while you won’t have one employer per se that will pay you to travel (unless you’re hired full-time on a yacht that cruises around the world), being a skipper is a job that allows you to chase summer and work in different locations at different times of the year.
The pay and job responsibilities vary massively depending on how experienced you are and the type of boat you work on. In my case I was working as second alongside a more experience caption, and my day usually looked something like this; I would start the day by cleaning and prepping the boat, then welcoming guests on-board, acting as tour guide, cooking, sometimes taking the guests to shore with our dinghy, pulling up the sails, helping anchor and dock the boat, and cleaning again at the end of the day. Doesn’t sound all that glamorous but when you do it in a beautiful seaside location it can be a really exciting job! Salaries as a skipper for day charter can range from 800 EUR a month for the younger sailors to 2,500 EUR or more for the more experienced captains.
Work on a cruise ship
“Working on a cruise ship is a great way to make money and see some of the world at the same time. I worked as a purser and found my job advertised in a hospitality industry magazine when I was working in London, and had my interview with an agency there. “Purser” comes from the word ‘purse” and pursers were traditionally in charge of the money onboard. Nowadays, it also includes working the front desk, payroll, crew cabin assignments, etc. Experience as a hotel receptionist and working with money helped me get the job, and speaking at least one other language is a bonus for a purser job.
My average pay was $3,000US a month, but it was all tax-free disposable income. This was a few years ago, so it might be higher now. At the time, waiters and room attendants were only paid $50/ month by the cruise line, but they made much more than I did in tips. They worked hard for it though. All jobs are seven days a week (no days off!). Length of contracts vary. Mine was six months on and six (unpaid) weeks off. Some others were ten months on/ two months off. I did two contracts then left for shore life, but many people stay much longer.
I loved seeing the ports we went to and got to do some fun shore excursions like racing an America’s Cup yacht in St Maarten, but I was also constantly exhausted from long hours, split shifts and no time off. It was fun to do, but it’s not for everyone.”
– by James, author of Travel Collecting
Travelling yoga teacher
“If you’re a yoga teacher (or an experienced student interested in becoming one), it’s a great job to take on the road. I’ve taught yoga while traveling in Southeast Asia over the past year and a half, and it’s been an incredibly rewarding way to gain new experience, meet interesting people, and help fund my travels.
Many different types of places around the world hire traveling yoga teachers, including yoga studios, hotels and hostels, retreat centers, surf camps, and gyms. Most places look for Yoga Alliance-certified teachers who’ve completed (at minimum) a 200-hour teacher training program with a registered studio. New traveling teachers often start with work exchange positions, which provide accommodations, meals, or other perks in exchange for teaching, rather than a salary.
To find a position, try contacting studios and other places with your resume, or look for postings on sites like Yoga Trade. Many also list opportunities in Facebook groups for yoga teachers, which are a great way to network with other traveling teachers as well.”
– by Jen, author of Passions and Places
“Can you imagine yourself saving money on accommodation while traveling abroad and living like locals? This is now available thanks to house sitting.
House sitting is taking care of someone’s else property, also owner’s pets in exchange of staying in someone’s home free of charge. You can mutually agree to take care of general maintenance, including pools, gardens or anything that the owner usually does at home.
This type of travel seems to be ideal for anyone who has a location free job. Also, it has many benefits, including opening your mind to a different way of living, being part of the social community and more. Many digital nomads use it as an alternative way to earn money while traveling.
There are many international house sitting networks you can find, such as nomador.com or trustedhousesitters.com. If you are interested in this kind of adventure, firstly you need to become a member of one of the websites, pay an annual subscription fee to be part of the network. At this point you can apply for house sitting.”
– by Leo, author of Safari Nomad
“Being an au pair is a great way to fund your travels. When I was 21 years old I decided to go to France for a few months to au pair. I found a website called fusac.fr and an advertisement for an au pair. Within a few weeks I was packing my bag to Paris to live with an incredible family in their huge house three metro stops from the Champs Elysees.
I was lucky with my job in that I worked only 15 hours a week with children of the ages 8, 10 and 14. I had plenty of time to offer extra English classes on the side to supplement my 100euro a week income. I was also offered free food and board in the family’s house which is a great offer in Paris where rents usually start at 600 euro. I loved the job so much I ended up staying another year with the family and then found another job in Paris. So in addition to being a good way to fund your travels it can help you find a footing while researching other types of jobs you can work in if the city you’re au pairing in is where you want to stay.
There are numerous agencies offering au pair work all over the world from Australia to the US to various European countries but you can also try the route of looking online yourself like I did. It’s hard to know however you search what your experience will be like. I met a lot of other au pairs who had very stressful jobs looking after young children and who weren’t treated very well by the families they worked for. Just make sure to ask the right questions about pay and hours worked when you’re interviewing and you should be fine!”
– by Ann, author of Eco Conscious Traveller
Online / remote jobs that allow you to work from anywhere (and make money while traveling!)
Having covered jobs where you travel for work, I know want to go over some remote jobs you can do from anywhere. These could be both as a freelancer working for yourself or as a hired contractor that works remotely for a company. While these jobs themselves don’t necessarily entail a lot of traveling, they are laptop based jobs that can be done from anywhere in the world. Welcome to the definition of a digital nomad! This online job freedom means that you can change city every so often, effectively making money while traveling.
Travel blogger & content creator
An increasingly popular job that allows you to work remotely from anywhere in the world and make money while travelling is that of a travel blogger and / or content creator. For me, this is my main job and income. The most common question I get when I tell people I’m a travel blogger is how do I actually earn money? I do so through a variety of different things, amongst which ads on this site (See that banner at the bottom of the screen? Or the ads that pop up throughout the text? They’re the ones), affiliate links, sponsored blog posts, sponsored Instagram posts and content creation. Being a travel blogger with a medium sized audience also means I occasionally get invited to promote a specific destination and therefore have all my travel expenses paid for (although this only accounts for 5-10% of what I write about, the vast majority of my travels I pay for myself).
Being paid to travel the world and create content sounds like a dream for a lot of people, it sure did for me when I first got into it. What most people don’t realise is that it takes a long time for a blog to become profitable. My blog and Instagram accounts didn’t earn me any money for the first 1.5 years after I created them, and when they did start earning the amounts were very small. There is potential for very high earnings in blogging, as your audience and brand grow you earn more passively and you can charge more for sponsored content. But it will take a lot of work to reach that level. If you’re looking for something quick that will fund your travels right from the start blogging probably isn’t for you, if you’re willing to work on it for some time before seeing results, then you should give it a go!
“Running an online business alone is tons of work. Enter the Virtual Assistant (VA). VAs are hired to take over important, yet delegable tasks, freeing up time for the business owner. Some VAs try to be a “jack of all trades”, but the most successful normally specialize in a few, high-value service offerings.
No experience is required, but you’ll need to prove you know your stuff (portfolio, certifications, testimonials, etc). Pay can vary widely—depending entirely on the value of your services, your experience, pricing structure, and ability to market yourself. Most of all, it depends on whether you work as an employee or as a freelancer. Since freelancers are responsible for all their own expenses, they should be paid significantly higher rates.
That said, new (but talented) VA freelancers generally charge $20-40 per hour (if you know how to travel cheaply, this is more than enough). Experienced VAs offering high-value services charge $100+/hour.
Virtual assistant jobs are all over the place. Typical job boards are a good place to start (Remote.co, Indeed, Glassdoor, Virtual Assistant Jobs), but don’t discount the power of LinkedIn, social media, and good ol’ fashioned networking.”
– by Mitch, author of Project Untethered
“As a WordPress coach, I work with people one-on-one to help them understand and work with their websites. Clients may want to do it themselves, or they want to learn with an expert like me looking over their shoulders and telling them what to do.
Sessions are usually an hour long and done via Skype. They’re focused around the specific questions or things the client wants to accomplish or learn about. These requests run the gamut from redesigning a website to incorporating an e-mail collecting plugin. They aren’t usually complicated things technically, but being able to listen and explain something at a non-technical level.
If interested in doing it yourself, you need to think about the process you want them to know, accompany it with the little bits of knowledge that’ll help them run their website better, and leave them feeling like they’ve accomplished something by the end of your time together. The technical skills are important too, but you’re being paid to explain things, not just the technical side of things.
Consider this an hourly gig, and pair it up with a blog you might keep on the technical side of things. You’ll need the technical skills, naturally, and those come with experience.”
– by Chris, author of Becoming A Digital Nomad
For the last couple of years, my partner and I have funded the majority of our full time travelling as freelance copywriters. For us, it seems like the perfect choice as we already spent much of our time travel blogging, and it served as a great way to develop our writing skills and get paid at the same time!
After starting out in early 2016, within a couple of months we were each earning enough to live abroad. Best of all, we were working a maximum of 2 hours a day on average! Though it wouldn’t have been enough to travel in expensive countries, it was more than enough to make our way across Asia; seeing countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
If you’re interested, then you’ll be happy to know that you don’t need any qualifications to start working as a freelance writer. But what you do need to have is a passion for certain topics and a strong grasp of the English language. Other than that, it’s a simple job of finding out where clients are looking for writers and then working hard to pitch them and generate a client base. Here are some good job boards to get you started:
– by Bradley, author of Dream Big, Travel Far
Self-publish a book
“Writing (and publishing) a book may seem like an almost unattainable goal but, it’s not only doable; it can also be a good earner. Self-publishing a book, in particular, is something that anyone can do these days – both onto e-book devices like the Kindle and into print.
You can publish both fiction and non-fiction. Most travellers choose the latter, and publish guidebooks and informational content about destinations that they’ve been to. If you’re feeling creative, though, or inspired by something that happened on a recent trip, there’s always a market for good stories as well. Alex Garland’s The Beach, for example, was inspired by his own experiences backpacking around South East Asia.
Earnings depend on the price you set and the number of copies you sell. For Kindle books priced above $2.99, Amazon takes a 30% cut as well as a small fee for delivery. So, as an example, if your book is priced at $5, you’d earn around $3.49 per sale. Sell 250 books per month, and that could bring in more than $10,000 per year.”
– by James, author of The Portugalist Blog
“SEO (Search Engine Optimised) writing is something I’ve made my career over the past years, and it’s funded many of my travels; most recently an adventure through Europe! SEO writing sounds daunting, but it’s just a way of writing content so that it ranks higher on Google.
The best way to learn is to complete a course in SEO writing, which will give you the tools you need to succeed. Then, apply for some SEO content roles, you can find a few through Facebook, and you’ll quickly find your clients queuing up.
How much you can earn will vary massively, I started out earning around $20 USD per hour and my rates increased to around $50 USD per hour.
The wonderful part of all this? It can all be done whilst overseas or travelling. With internet access found anywhere today, you will never not be able to complete an article. Often, I’ve found my clients will ask for pieces on foreign countries, which I could write from my own personal experiences thanks to the money I’ve made being an SEO writer. If you’re looking to earn some money whilst travelling, SEO writing is the perfect opportunity.”
– by Melissa, author of Thrifty Family Travels
Set up a Fiverr account
“When I first starting backpacking it was difficult to sustain myself for longer periods of time. I found myself returning home every 3 months to work a job to be able to save up again. This all changed when one afternoon I set up a Fiverr account.
If like me you have any art or even just drawing skills you’ll find there is are thousands of people looking for logos, banners and graphics for there business. The trick with Fiverr is to start off small and build up your profile offering you services cheaper then begin to increasing the prices as you get to level 2 seller and if you can keep providing a good service you can get to the top rated seller status.
Been able to make money while you travel is a great feeling that I continue to put my efforts into. If you like the idea of being a digital nomad and have an internet connection, you only need a laptop and you can easily get started with a platform like Fiverr.”
– by Daniel, author of Layer Culture
Other ways to make money while traveling
There are other ways to make money while traveling that I feel didn’t fit into either the “digital nomad” or “employed in a travel focused job” buckets.
Rent your house on AirBnb
“An easy way to help fund your travels is to rent out your home on AirBnB or other short-term rental sites while you’re away. Of course, you’ll need to hire someone to take care of the check-in, cleaning, etc.
If you live in an area where short-term rentals are popular, you can probably find an agency that offers this service. In Lisbon, Portugal, where I live, there are several such agencies, and they generally charge between 20 and 30 percent of the booking price.
Otherwise, you can just make arrangements with someone you trust to do the cleaning and be the on-the-ground contact point for guests. You could even offer self check-in by leaving the key in a safety box that the guests can open with a code.
Of course, this method of earning money works best if you own your own home, but even if you rent you might be able to sublet your place. Be sure to check your rental contract and/or speak with your landlord first.”
– by Wendy, author of The Nomadic Vegan
Personal Photographer for Tourists/Locals
“If you know a city that you’re visiting or living in rather well and have the right skills/gear to take great travel portrait shots – you can definitely make some good side cash for your travels. A good way to get people to book you is to post a lot of great travel portrait shots on your social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, or your website. Make sure to tag, geotag, and put the relevant hashtags to get attention on your photos. Advertise on your captions and on your biography that you are available for bookings. Put out a travel schedule so everyone can easily see when you’re going to be in a certain city. Also you can do Instagram stories saying what city you’re in.
How much you charge depends on certain factors – your experience level, how many photos and locations you will take them to, how much time you give them, and if you’re photos are good or not. I’ve seen prices range from $50 for an hour long photoshoot to $1000 for a two hour long styled photoshoot.”
– by Henry, author of This Life Of Travel
What about you? Do you also make money while traveling? If so, do you do it in a way that isn’t listed here? Let me know in the comments below! I know being able to earn money while on the road is a popular desire of a lot of people, with this post I just wanted to give you a rough idea of all the different ways there are to make money while travelling. I think it’s also important to distinguish between working online from anywhere in the world and having a job that requires you to travel. I hope you find this post useful and it inspires you to get out there and travel more (now that you know of some cool ways to earn money while doing so)!
Don’t worry if you don’t have much relevant work experience, check out this guide on how to get paid to work abroad without experience for more tips and information! Also, I know not everybody can quit their jobs to travel the world, which is why I’ve put together a video and post giving some advice on how you can travel more when you have a 9-5 job, check it out here!